News of the Week

Nov. 23, 2015
Oklahoma Records Set for Typical Elk, Black Bear
    Oklahoma's Cy Curtis Awards Program has recognized new state-record entries for typical elk and black bear.
    For nearly 15 years, the elk that Joe Kysela harvested on his first-ever elk hunt has made an impressive wall mount in his Oklahoma City home. Little did he realize that this elk would become the top-scoring typical elk in the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Cy Curtis Awards Program.
        The elk that now holds the state record earned a score of 310 1/8. Kysela took the elk Oct. 7, 2000, on a private land hunt outside the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. 
    Kysela submitted his Cy Curtis application in late October, and his elk now holds the top spot previously held by Mark Thompson of Shawnee, whose elk scored 307 6/8.
    In a Sunday Oklahoman newspaper account after the hunt, Kysela said he used a cow call to lure the bull within 30 yards. "He answered every time, which allowed me to key in on his position and get set up to make the shot. I almost hyperventilated when I saw how close he was to me."
    Kysela said a meat processor estimated the elk weighed 980 pounds.
    "I don't think I will ever top this one, even if I go to Colorado, New Mexico or Arizona."
    Kysela's elk was scored shortly after the hunt for a Boone and Crocket Club trophy entry. 
    To be eligible for a Cy Curtis listing, typical elk must score a minimum of 270 and nontypical elk must score at least 310.
    The black bear that now holds the state record scored 20 15/16. It was harvested by Jeremy DeFrange of McAlester on Oct. 7, 2012, in Latimer County. This black bear now tops the list of Cy Curtis Awards Program records, a spot previously held by Michael Musgrove of Wilburton and Ken Baker of Hulbert, who were tied with scores of 20 1/16.
    DeFrange's bear was scored in March 2013 for a Boone and Crockett Club trophy entry. Black bear skulls must score 19 or greater to be eligible for a Cy Curtis listing.
    The Wildlife Department established the Cy Curtis Awards Program in 1972 to recognize trophy game hunters in Oklahoma. The program recognized only trophy white-tailed deer and mule deer. But in 2014, the Cy Curtis Awards Program was expanded to include elk, pronghorns and black bears that exceed the minimum qualifying scores. For details on the program and how you can apply for an award, go to the Cy Curtis page at
  Joe Kysela of Oklahoma City with his Cy Curtis Awards state-record   elk. (Photo Provided)

 Jeremy DeFrange of McAlester with his Cy Curtis Awards state-record black bear.  (Photo Provided)